Experiencing History – Winter Wonderland

December 8, 1997  Monday

Last night I spent three hours on my painting of Lake Ruth; it is the longest I have spent on a Design project.  When it was done I thought it was good, it wasn’t as clean as I wanted as clean as I had wanted it to be.  I’m not the best painter.

Nevertheless, when I walked into class this morning the instructor shook my hand and said he loved it.  That was great, because most of the work for him has been less than par.  Now only one more project to go.  Again, I ventured out the harsh elements, all of the sake of art.  I did a rough sketch of Western Ave, with Higgins and Thompson halls in the background.  Monday we are going to have a party, and John, the instructor, is going to make us spaghetti (this is college?).  By the time class was over a steady downfall of white had begun.

History was a little fun today, if not a little scary.  I mean, I remembered most of the things the professor spoke about.  Our parents are the ones to say, “I remember that,” not us.  We began discussing the Contras in Nicaragua.  Something I’ve always remembered is the news broadcasts that showed American soldiers and tanks rolling through a city in Nicaragua.  I probably fascinated me because I remember thinking it was just like my G.I. Joe cartoons.  I remember a bad man in a far off land named Qaddafi, as well as Ted Koppel reporting on some Reagan something called “Star Wars.”  One time, because I had heard it a lot on a Hulk Hogan Saturday morning cartoon from a Russian wrestler, I called Mom “comrade.”  She turned to me quickly she made me promised to never say that again.  That response always confused me–still does.  More recent historical events, can be more easily recalled, like Tienanmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when I was in fifth grade.  I will always remember watching Nelson Mandela being released from prison because it was just before my eleventh birthday.   I saw when tanks rumbled through Red Square, and suddenly the Soviet Union was no more.  CNN blasted news to the American public, on August 2, 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  I was playing in a park, in Canton.  To show support for the troops, everyone wore yellow ribbons.  My town even held a rally, in Elmwood’s Central Park.  Dad took pictures of the event, and of Emma reading a poem to the patriotic crowd.  The class today was more like a trip down memory lane than a history lecture.

I always thought the reason we took semester tests in high school was to prepare us for the same thing in college.  I may be the exception, but I’m going to have a pretty easy time of it.  In English, Jenny is having us take home a survey about the class and turn it in on Friday.  That is our test.  Because of this, and the party in Design, it seems my high school teachers lied to me.  A lot of needless Spanish migraines could have been avoided.

The end of the movie Only You I discussed last entry was just as I said.  The girl went for the man that was perfect–except for his name–and she learned you make your own destiny.  I stopped by the library this afternoon to look up the exact definition of pestino, which is a term used in the film.  I looked in English, Italian, Latin, and Spanish dictionaries, but no luck.  It’s like the word doesn’t exist, and they just made it up.  The definition in the movie was, “to have destination, to take a trip where the events are totally predetermined.”

Speaking of having a destination, Jake is officially leaving at the end of the semester.  He actually had the grades to stay (barely), but has decided it would be better for him to move back home and go to a community college called SWIC.  At one time, early on, I disliked Jake.  One time we were playing poker in the lounge, and he started yelling at Katie Looker because she was not paying attention, and it was enough that she left.  At the time I was deciding if I like her a small amount, and so had been mad at him.  Now I hang out with Jake the most, because we really are a lot alike.  I would rather him not go, and this floor will lose something when he leaves.  We’ll lock the door at night in Wakee’s memory.

Tonight we had the largest snowball fight I’ve even been a part of.  It has snowed all day, with about four inches of accumulation.  It was perfect, wet, packing snow.  Everyone from our floor was outside playing in the darkness, except D, who was exhausted from the last few days (Jen Parry had been taken in the hospital for stomach pains, but she’s okay).  Soon the girls from the fourth and twelfth floors joined in.  Some guys from nearby Higgins began attacking us, but finally we sent them running from where they had come from.  Later in the night I targeted a group of girls and let fly.  The snowball found it’s mark far away, hitting one of the girls in the back of the head. She turned around–is was Katie Looker.  I still had two snowballs, but she threw her one and missed.  I yelled to her, “You’re always supposed to have a backup!” snowball to fall back on, and then let her have it.  I made sure to hit her a few times during the course of the night.  Finally, the socks I was using as gloves soaked, I had to retire.

The forecast is for 6-8 inches tomorrow.

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